Wendy Swallow
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Breaking Apart: Book Info

“What I thought I was doing by remarrying was going home, back into the warm hearth that is the family and all that American culture enshrines along with its reverence for the family. I thought I was moving back into that sacred circle, that inner sanctum of respectability — that accepted place. People don’t have to worry about you anymore. You are safe, you are home.

“In actuality, though, remarrying isn’t about going home. It’s about going some place entirely new, almost as if you’ve stepped through a looking glass. Things appear normal, but there are all sorts of strange contortions to life, things that aren’t readily apparent on the surface. In the end, remarriage turned out to be quite different than I imagined — indeed from what most of us would imagine — and that is what this book is about.”

After surviving divorce, Wendy Swallow had given up on love for good. A series of bad dates simply confirmed it -- she did not need a man. She could be happy on her own. Then, when she wasn't looking, Charlie appeared.

In a humorous, reflective voice, Swallow shares with us her honest, emotional journey of remarriage. Navigating the rubble of failed marriages — the blame, the embarrassment, the disrupted parenting — Wendy and Charlie aim to create a union unadulterated by the loss and pain of previous mistakes. But reality is often different than intention, and Swallow's memoir is poignant and engaging, as she traces the pitfalls and triumphs of remarriage.

Featured on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show and in Reader’s Digest and other national magazines, Swallow’s remarriage memoir examines the current research and everyday expectations of remarrying couples. Statistics show that many women remarry for economic security and companionship. Yet the reality of a second marriage, especially those involving children, can be daunting. Through conversations with remarried friends and authorities on stepfamilies, she and her husband Charlie embark on a remarkable journey into a place neither of them expected.

The author is interested in your thoughts on her book. Please respond to Wendy Swallow with any comments you would like to share.

“The Triumph of Love over Experience is absolutely terrific. Wish we could… give every member of the Stepfamily Association of America a copy.”

Dr. Margorie Engle,
President and CEO of the Stepfamily Association
of America

“This is a fresh and personal account of two very special people determined to make their relationship work against the odds… People who are thinking about remarriage will relate to their self-doubts and stress and relish the joy their hard work delivered.”


“This fine memoir by a former Washington Post reporter examines the stresses involved in creating stepfamilies. Swallow, who examined her divorce in the well-received ‘Breaking Apart,’ produces another refreshingly honest look at her own life, this time focused on her unexpected remarriage.”

John Marshall,
book critic for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“Theirs is a love story with speed bumps, and Swallow tells it with grace, wit and insight.”

Mark Wolf,
Rocky Mountain News